ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Just in time for Balloon Fiesta, local leaders celebrated the opening of the long-awaited Route 66 Visitors Center. The city and county cut the ribbon Friday on the facility that sits on far west Central.

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The 21,000-square-foot facility includes a Route 66 Museum, gift shop, taproom, amphitheater, and banquet hall. Albuquerque City Councilor Klarissa Pena and Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada who spearheaded the project, hope the center will highlight the history and culture of Albuquerque. “We don’t throw parties without the lowriders, and I know we bug you a lot, throw a lot of parties, but we really appreciate you coming out, educating our people about who we are, and where we’re from,” said Quezada.

The plan is to use the outdoor spaces for events like drive-in movies and car shows.